#BlackLivesMatter: A Guide For Confused White People

#BlackLivesMatter: A Guide For Confused White People

Don't all lives matter? Doesn't pro-black mean anti-white? Why can't I say the N-word?
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Here are seven helpful ways to begin lifting our impenetrable veils of white privilege in response to #BlackLivesMatter. I ask that you please consider these steps before changing your statuses to #BlueLivesMatter, or absentmindedly scrolling past the video of Philando Castile’s spontaneous public execution at the hands of a fatally overzealous police officer.

1. First and foremost, saying that #BlackLivesMatter does not translate to #WhiteLivesDoNot. Our comfy privilege blanket makes us feel like we’re being attacked by anything that doesn’t explicitly include us, but this isn’t the case. No one is suggesting that black lives are more meaningful than those of non-black individuals. If it’s helpful for you, maybe mentally attach the words “too,” “also,” or “as much as mine does,” to the end of the phrase. And in case you’re inclined to snidely retort that all lives matter – of course they do, but America can’t credibly make that case until we stop treating our black citizens as if they’re second-class.

2. Before you use the Dallas police shootings try to write off #BlackLivesMatter as a terrorist organization that spews anti-white or anti-police rhetoric, I want to remind you that we did not blame all white Christians for the actions of the racially-motivated attacks by Dylann Roof in Charleston last summer. The movement is pro-black, undoubtedly, but contrary to what we might be quick to assume, this does not at all mean anti-white. Instead, being pro-black is to ask white people to do the untidy, uncomfortable job of assessing how our whiteness positively impacts our lives at the expense of fewer opportunities for black Americans.

3. It’s time to acknowledge our white privilege and all of the things it does for us and absolutely nobody else. If you’re confused by what it means, check out Peggy McIntosh’s quintessential 1988 essay on it. If you’re from Chicago and you demand proof, you can see how whiteness is actively working for you and against people of color in neighborhoods such as Logan Square and Pilsen. These historically Latino communities have been gentrified, meaning white people moved in and took advantage of the low-rent costs, but as our presence increased, rent skyrocketed, which pushed Latinos out and effectively erased their ties to these areas. Just thought I’d throw that one tiny example in for anyone building a “Whiteness is a Plague to the Earth” evidence portfolio.

4. Straight, white, male readers, this may be a difficult pill for you to swallow, but you are not the arbitrator of what is and is not oppressive towards minority communities. The designated oppressor does not define the realities of the oppressed. So, if your female coworker tells you that your “harmless” joke was sexist, believe her. If your gay cousin informs you that your usage of the word “gay” is offensive, believe him. If #BlackLivesMatter tells you that our society is so structured in a way that relies upon the oppression, incarceration and extermination of black and brown men, women and children, believe them.

5. If you’re over the age of fifty, or you’ve only ever read history books written by white dudes, you may find yourself puzzled by the movement. #BlackLivesMatter seems superfluous, you may be thinking; after all, black people have “come so far.” To be sure, nixing water fountains and lunch counters “for coloreds” was an important milestone, but white supremacy was not dismantled the moment John F. Kennedy shook Martin Luther King, Jr.’s hand after his “I Have A Dream” speech. I, too, was shocked when I heard the news that the Civil Rights decade didn’t totally undo centuries of oppression. Alas, the struggle lives on, mostly because white people aren’t ready to say that it does.

6. The predecessors and contemporaries of #BlackLivesMatter, such as the Black Panthers, the NAACP and #BlackGirlMagic do not seek to erase the contribution of other cultures to the fabric of American life. Rather, they are asserting their creativity, intelligence, beauty, worth and humanity into the spaces (music, television, film, art, broadcast news, etc.) that have rejected them for centuries. Our cute, “Kim K-Inspired” cornrows appropriate the black culture that we ridiculed until we ripped it off of a black girl’s head and crowned ourselves with it. As Jesse Williams explained, the black experience is not one that we are allowed to try when it suits us and take off when it doesn’t. And just while we’re dancing around this subject — being Biggie’s biggest fan doesn’t give you a pass to rap along to, “If you don’t know, now you know, n****.” Just permanently cut that word out of your vocabulary.

7. Finally, white readers, please don’t ignore #BlackLivesMatter just because you can. The post-racial, land of the free American dreamland that we all lie about has no chance of becoming a reality if we can’t even acknowledge the ways in which we’ve thwarted the efforts of anti-white supremacy movements. If you’re unsettled by the loss of any human life, please write your legislators and implore them to restructure our militarized, quasi-genocidal police departments. Talk to your black and brown friends and peers to understand the ways in which racism still hurts them today, right now, this moment. A thorough understanding of the problem will lead to a proper diagnosis and, fingers crossed, an eventual cure to the racism and xenophobia that has plagued our country since its conception.

Cover Image Credit: Tumblr

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23 Quotes And Lyrics For Independence Day In Pakistan

Yes, I might have chosen 23 because of March 23rd.
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With Pakistan's Independence day coming up on August 14, here are a few quotes and lyrics to make you feel inspired, reflective and maybe a little more patriotic!

1. “Few individuals significantly alter the course of history. Fewer still modify the map of the world. Hardly anyone can be credited with creating a nation-state. Mohammad Ali Jinnah did all three.” - Stanley Wolpert, Jinnah of Pakistan

2." With faith, discipline and selfless devotion to duty, there is nothing worthwhile that you cannot achieve." - Muhammad Ali Jinnah

3. “Truth is the power that will resolve our problems.” - Imran Khan

4. "My message to you all is of hope, courage and confidence. Let us mobilize all our resources in a systematic and organized way and tackle the grave issues that confront us with grim determination and discipline worthy of a great nation." - Muhammad Ali Jinnah

5. "Nations are born in the hearts of poets, they prosper and die in the hands of politicians." - Muhammad Iqbal

6. "Pakistan is heir to an intellectual tradition of which the illustrious exponent was the poet and philosopher Mohammad Iqbal. He saw the future course for Islamic societies in a synthesis between adherence to the faith and adjustment to the modern age. " - Benazir Bhutto



7. "Jab bachchay mulq pay raaj karein, aur school mein bethain hon siyasatdaan. Wo din phir aayega jab aisa, hoga Pakistan. (When children rule the country and politicians are in school. A day will come when this will be Pakistan) - Strings," Main Tou Dekhoonga

8. "Our object should be peace within, and peace without. We want to live peacefully and maintain cordial friendly relations with our immediate neighbours and with the world at large." - Muhammad Ali Jinnah

9. Muhabat amn hai aur iss ka hai paigham Pakistan. (Love is peace and it's message is Pakistan) - Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan

10. "We are starting in the days where there is no discrimination, no distinction between one community and another, no discrimination between one caste or creed and another. We are starting with this fundamental principle: that we are all citizens, and equal citizens, of one State." - Muhammad Ali Jinnah

11. "Pakistan is not going to be a theocratic State - to be ruled by priests with a divine mission. We have many non-Muslims - Hindus, Christians, and Parsis -- but they are all Pakistanis. They will enjoy the same rights and privileges as any other citizens and will play their rightful part in the affairs of Pakistan." -- Muhammad Ali Jinnah

12. "You are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other place or worship in this State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed - that has nothing to do with the business of the State." -- Muhammad Ali Jinnah

13. "There are two powers in the world; one is the sword and the other is the pen. There is a great competition and rivalry between the two. There is a third power stronger than both, that of the women." -- Muhammad Ali Jinnah

14. "I want people to remember that Pakistan is my country. It is like my mother, and I love it dearly. Even if its people hate me, I will still love it." -- Malala Yousafzai

15. "If we want to make this great State of Pakistan happy and prosperous, we should wholly and solely concentrate on the well-being of the people, and especially of the masses and the poor." -- Muhammad Ali Jinnah

16. “There are two social classes in Pakistan," Professor Superb said to his unsuspecting audience, gripping the podium with both hands as he spoke. "The first group, large and sweaty, contains those referred to as the masses. The second group is much smaller, but its members exercise vastly greater control over their immediate environment and are collectively termed the elite. The distinction between members of these two groups is made on the basis of control of an important resource:air-conditioning. You see, the elite have managed to re-create for themselves the living standards of say, Sweden without leaving the dusty plains of the subcontinent. They're a mixed lot - Punjabi and Pathans, Sindhis and Baluchis, smugglers , mullahs, soldiers, industrialists - united by their residence in an artificially cooled world. They wake up in air-conditioned houses, drive air-conditioned cars to air-conditioned offices, grab lunch in air-conditioned restaurants (rights of admission reserved), and at the end of the day go home to an air-conditioned lounges to relax in front of their wide-screen TVs. And if they should think about the rest of the people, the great uncooled, and become uneasy as they lie under their blankets in the middle of the summer, there is always prayer, five times a day, which they hope will gain them admittance to an air-conditioned heaven, or at the very least, a long, cool drink during a fiery day in hell.” ― Mohsin Hamid, Moth Smoke

17. "The hard thing about Pakistan is that they throw up these cricketers you've never seen before" -- Steve Waugh (praising Pakistan's ability to keep discovering fresh talent, evident in their 221-run victory against Australia in Dubai)

18. "Recognition and self-esteem must lead to pride in labour. Its benefit is two-fold; it will develop you and the nation together" -- Abdul Sattar Edhi

19. "Hum sab ki hai pehchaan, hum sab sa pakistan. (We all have an identity, our Pakistan)" -- Various Artists (reproduced in 1982 by Alamgir)

20. "Aisi zameen aur aasmaan, in ke siwa jaana kahaan? (With a ground and a sky like this, where else would you want to go?)" -- Vital Signs, Dil Dil Pakistan

21. "Pak sarzameen shad bad. (blessed be the sacred land)" -- Qaumi Tarana (National Anthem)

22. "Kitna kia hai intezaar. Aur karo gay? Kab tak? Ab khud kuch karna paray ga hum ko. (How long have you waited? Will you wait more? Till when? Now we'll have to do something ourselves)" -- Strings and Atif Aslam, Ab Khud Kuch Karna Paray Ga

23. "If your house is burning, wouldn't you try and put out the fire?" -- Imran Khan

Pakistan Zindabad!

Cover Image Credit: baaghi.tv

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CBS, Please Stop The Racism and Lack of Black Representation On 'Big Brother'

Black houseguests need love too.

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CBS,

It's been nearly four weeks since CBS's summer-long game series "Big Brother" aired. On the 20th season, two people have already been evicted, one of whom is black. From what I've witnessed on the live feeds, there's racial slurs and ignorance galore.

I think that your network is known for casting less than two black people on every season of "Big Brother." If that's your way of creating diversity, then your network has some work to do. Every season is predictable.

If you think about it, most of the black houseguests don't make it far in the game, and it's been obvious. I've never seen a black winner of "Big Brother US," ever, and I'm honestly disappointed in the lack of black representation on the show. I'm also very livid with the evident racism along with it.

I've been a faithful superfan. But, as a black viewer, I find it hard to finish a season knowing there's a predictable chance that a certain houseguest is robbed based on race.

On the 15th season of "Big Brother," for instance, two houseguests were in the center of extreme controversy for making very blunt, racist remarks towards the women of color on the show.

In future seasons, Paul Abrahamian, a competitor for season 18 and 19, wore a black facial mask to resemble the "blackface," a way to mock a black houseguest. While TMZ and other gossip websites covered it, he was never reprimanded for what was considered ignorant, prejudiced behavior.

I'm not saying that "Big Brother" should keep houseguests from expressing their views. That's the purpose of the show. However, there's a difference between expressing your views and using your views to belittle the minority. There's nothing wrong with promoting civil conversations and debates.

I'm saying this because an incident occurred between two houseguests after one said the "N" word loud and clear towards a black houseguest.

JC Mounduix, who was previously accused of sexually harassing girls in the "Big Brother" house, forwardly said the "N" word towards Bayleigh Dayton. This incident started after Dayton questioned if he was a midget or a dwarf based on his very short height.

Mounduix did not apologize for saying the word after Dayton told him not to say it. Instead, he argued with her and believed he had a right to say it. A lot of superfans are angered by this, especially considering Mounduix's history. For one, although he is part of the LGBT community, people have disapproved of his support for President Donald Trump.

Now, I wouldn't isolate anyone based on their views, but there are literally some things you shouldn't say, and the "N" word is one of them.

CBS, I know before a live feed, you have a disclaimer. Your network says that the producers and the network do not agree with the views of the houseguests, but when people say things like the "N" word, you don't do anything about it.

Don't cover this up.

It's clear that we need more black representation on this show. We need the racism to stop. We need the clear ignorance to stop. Something has to be done.

Cover Image Credit:

Instagram / @swaggyctv

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